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Details & Cataloguing

Swiss
A YELLOW GOLD, ENAMEL AND PEARL-SET CENTRE SECONDS WATCH MADE FOR THE CHINESE MARKET CIRCA 1820
• pink gilt duplex movement finely chased and engraved with foliate decoration, diamond endstone, oversized weights to the balance • gold cuvette with engraved decoration • white enamel dial, Roman numerals, blued steel pierced hands, outer track calibrated for minutes • case back with detailed polychrome enamel landscape with two figures with horses in the foreground, pearl-set palm tree and foliage, translucent blue enamel sky with engine-turned ground, enamel border to the bezels with blue and white geometric pattern, similarly decorated bow and stem
diameter 57 mm
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Catalogue Note

Timepieces have been popular gifts in China for many Centuries, as they are emblems of gratitude and friendship, and are synonymous power or status. Quality enamel, like the beautiful enamel scene we have on this watch, was of great importance for these highly decorative pieces.

Indeed, this enamel painting could be attributed to Jean-Louis Richter
(1766-1841) who was among the most renowned enamel painters of the 19th century. His speciality was the painting of landscape and particularly lakesides and seascapes, often representing ships in a harbour or fighting Men-of-War in battle, and on some occasion's portraits and hunting scenes. Richter rarely signed his work, but the style and quality of the painting strongly suggests it is in his hand.
This scene could originally be attributed to the engraving work of Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1785), a fashionable artist during the time of Richter. He principally applied his art to watch cases and snuff boxes destined for the Chinese, Turkish, Italian and English markets.

Examples for his work can be seen in many of the world's foremost collections.

 

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